Wednesday, May 5, 2010 815 (or fewer) words: "The Candidate"

Wow, you guys. I've been sitting here for a while staring at a blank screen, not quite knowing what to write about this episode.

I feel like it's been a while since we've had a death that really, really mattered (in my opinion, the most recent important death was Juliet in the season 5 finale). Tonight...well, we got three. At least three.

I've been less than thrilled at what the writers have done with Sun and Jin this season. I've not been particularly satisfied with their storylines this season...I felt like the writers simply didn't do enough with them (this is especially the case with Sun, I think). But I felt that their deaths were completely and totally done perfectly . For a couple seasons now, we've wanted Sun and Jin to be together. We've watched their grueling journey back to one another. Two weeks ago, we saw their reunion, which seemed all too brief. Was that it? Was that really all we got after how many freakin' seasons of them trying to find one another again?

I felt like, for the first time this season, Sun and Jin's characters were really done their death scene tonight. I, the anti-cry, had tears in my eyes. i know a number of my friends actually did cry. It was a brilliant, poignant scene where we, and those two characters, finally got what we had all wanted to see for so long: Sun and Jin be together. Despite Jin's assholishness at times and Sun's infidelity, those two personified "'til death do us part." We finally saw Jin make good on his promise from several seasons ago--remember after the raft washed him back to the island, he promised Sun he'd never leave her again? Well, after several seasons, a bunch of flashes through time, another plane crash, and a bunch of other craziness, we finally saw Jin keep that promise. It was heartwrenching like Charlie's death in season 3, like Juliet's death last season--and it is a moment of Lost we'll always remember. If the Lost writers were going for emotional impact--man, they really hit the mark.

I felt that Sayid's death, too, was executed brilliantly. We've been wanting to see Sayid find redemption, and I've gotta believe that he did. First, he told Jack about Desmond's whereabouts. "Locke wants him dead, which means you need him." "Why are you telling me this?" asked Jack. "Because it's going to be you, Jack," said Sayid, as he ran through the submarine with the bomb, sacrificing his own life to save the lives of several people aboard the sub. Sayid died selflessly, helping others. This season we've seen him be concerned with whether or not he was evil, whether or not he could find redemption. In the episode two weeks ago, Sayid's conversation with Desmond seemed to shock Sayid back onto the good side of things. In tonight's episode, he wasn't acting zombiefied...and was instead acting like the brave character we've come to love over the past six seasons. Rest in peace, Sayid.

Once the bomb exploded and water was rushing in the sub, the whole scene had a very Charlie/"Not Penny's boat" vibe to it. We had a character sacrificing himself to save others, and we also had characters who were rather...misled. The "Not Penny's boat" moments go to Jack (for realizing, once in the sub, that FLocke had put that bomb in that backpack) and Sawyer--who, had he listened to Jack, could probably have spared some lives.

Just like Smokey/MIB could not kill Jacob, it seems like another rule of this Island is that Smokey/MIB cannot kill candidates (he told Jack in the beginning of tonight's episode that he could kill them all, but I'm certain he was bluffing). Remember: MIB manipulated Ben into killing Jacob because MIB was not able to do it himself. I strongly suspect the same goes for MIB and the candidates. Therefore, I suspect that--as Jack believed--if they'd been on the sub and just let that bomb do its thing, it would simply not go off (like how that dynamite fizzled but didn't hurt anyone in the Jack/Richard on-Island scene in "Dr. Linus" a few episodes ago). MIB and his weapons couldn't kill those candidates. But once Sawyer--who didn't have Jack's level of faith about this sort of thing--messed with the bomb, then it was no longer just MIB's doing, which meant that this thing could kill candidates...and it did. To Sawyer's credit, of course the suggestion to just leave the bomb alone sounded completely illogical, and I think any one of us would have done the same thing he did--it's not like Jack had time to explain why he was so sure they'd all be OK if they left the bomb alone. But once Sawyer screwed with that bomb, it became his doing and not MIB's, and several candidates died as a result. FLocke anticipated that Sawyer (or someone) would act this way...although I don't think he anticipated that someone would be so selfless as to save at least a few lives of people aboard that sub.

I'm wondering what happened to Lapidus. It certainly seems like he's a goner, but...I dunno. I could be biased here, as I really liked Lapidus, but I'm not 100% certain he's dead. generally I don't believe someone on Lost is dead until I see a body. And it sure looked like he was getting squashed by a big ol' door, but...I'm not sure we know that for sure. It wouldn't surprise me if he showed back up somewhere. But it also wouldn't surprise me--although it would disappoint me--if he were dead. I've always felt like he was an interesting but underdeveloped character--he was the only one of the Freighter Four who didn't get a flashback episode, and was also the only one of them who didn't have some sort of familial ties to the Island. I've always been left wanting to know more about Lapidus--and I still feel that way.

Other stuff:

* So (at least in the sideways world), Locke's a pilot? I dunno, guys, but this screams SIGNIFICANT!!!! to me...

* What's up with that box (with a MIRROR inside!) that Christian Shephard wanted Claire to have? (And was the song it was playing that "Catch a Falling Star" song...?)

* And in other mirror imagery: Jack repairing Locke's dural sac (as opposed to his wife Sarah's, as he had in season 1).

* In the beginning of the episode, Jack told Locke, "You're a candidate." Suuuuure, he acted like it was for some sort of procedure that could make the crippled Locke walk again, but...I'm betting it's about much more than that (even if Jack himself doesn't realize it).

* Loved the scene with Bernard--and also loved the Locke/Anthony Cooper twist. In this timeline, Locke was responsible for his father's injuries--they were in a plane crash, and Locke had been piloting the plane. And Locke loved his father very, very much.

* Also in the sideways timeline--loved Locke's half-conscious Island flashbacks ("Push the button!" "I wish you had believed me...").

* The scene with Claire and Jack and the vending machine--did that remind anyone else of the S5 finale scene where we saw Jack having trouble with the vending machine at work and Jacob showing up, giving him his magic touch, and handing him that candy bar?

* What's up with Claire? She, too, seems less zombiefied...

* And I loved the conversations between Jack and Locke in the sideways timeline toward the end of the show--the conversations about letting go, not punishing yourself about your father issues... I'm hoping that Jack and Locke will eventually save one another...

As we go into next week's episode, which is a Jacob/man In Black-centric episode and will NOT include any of the Losties we've known for the past 6 seasons, we have the following groups:

* Jack, Kate, Hurley, and Sawyer are on the beach, mourning their dead friends
* Lapidus is somewhere, but very possibly dead
* FLocke is presumably coming after the candidates who are not dead--and Claire is in tow (By the way, how did FLocke instinctively know that not all those candidates are dead? Is something supposed to automatically HAPPEN to him--that clearly didn't happen--once they're dead, and that's how he knows they aren't all dead?)
* Widmore and an unknown number of his goons are somewhere, presumably by the cages
* Ben, Richard, and Miles are supposed to be off destroying the Ajira plane, but as we saw in tonight's episode, it doesn't seem to be where are those guys, and what are they up to?

And we're not really gonna know what's up with any of those folks until episode 6.16 (whose title may be spoilery, so I won't post it here), which airs the week after the Jacob/MIB episode airs.

What were your thoughts on "The Candidate"? How did you feel about all these deaths? Were you satisfied with how Sun's, Jin's, and Sayid's Island storylines ended? Do you think we'll see them in Sidewaysland? (I bet we will--we already saw Jin pop up in the final Sideways scene with Jack and Locke tonight.) Let's talk Lost...gimme a holler in the Comments section!


Magnolia said...

1. You know how sad I was that Sayid hadn't found redemption earlier this season -- I was almost jumping for joy when I realized that he ultimately now has found it. Perfection.

2. I don't believe for a second that Lapidus is dead. In my opinion, he's going to show up later at a crucial moment.

3. Oh, Sun and Jin. I have been so irritated at their storyline lately, just wishing they would find each other already. When I realized what was about to happen, I totally appreciated the beauty of it but at the same time, I just felt like "F*** you, Island." You know?

4. What is Sawyer going to do if he finds the paralyzed Anthony Cooper? Is that Anthony that we saw last night still the con artist he holds responsible for his parents' deaths?

I'm sure there's more, but that's all I can think of right now! :)

April said...

Incredible episode and I'm so grateful for recaps because my mind completely ceased to function after watching Sun and Jin's heartbreaking end. Even this morning as I was trying to remember what happened last night, that scene was all I got. It was painful to watch and I'm so upset with the writers for killing them. Yes, it was a beautiful scene for what it was but I'm still pissed off that they died.

Same goes for Sayid. I'm glad they gave him a death that redeems him and shows us that he is a good man after all but still pissed off that he's dead.

I didn't catch what Sayid said to Jack in the moments before he ran off with the bomb so I'm glad you posted that. Upon reading, sure sounds like he's telling Jack that he's going to be the one to replace Jacob.

Dammit Sawyer. If he had just believed Jack none of this would have even happened. I do believe Jack knew what he was talking about. I believe we had that scene with Jack and Richard because we needed to believe that the bomb wouldn't go off in this scene if just left alone. Stupid Sawyer had to ruin it.

I'm all ranty about this episode. Ir really was brilliant, I just hate seeing these characters die.

Andrew said...

That was quite an episode. So sad! I don't really care to speculate much since we only have 3 episodes left. Might as well ride it out. But I think the writers are going extreme with the cast and will basically kill everyone off only to have something completely huge and mind-blowing happen in the finale. Or I could be wrong. Either way, it was incredibly sad to see Jin/Sun drown like that having only just reunited after 3 years. Did neither one remember they had a child to take care of? Where is the baby anyway? This how is making me so anxious that I hope, although doubt, that the ending is satisfying. One more gripe: Why must there be a "recap" show the week before the finale? Draw it out a few more days, why don't you???

Great episode. Great Phillies game (vintage 2008 Cole and 2008 Lidge showing up with ever so "clutch" and underrated Chooch getting it done!)


@ Magnolia:
1. Me, too. I think they executed (no pun intended!) that really, really well. Sayid died in a blaze of redemption-fueled glory.

2. I'm inclined to side with you on this. Just because we KNOW Lost is great at making us THINK people are dead and then having those characters show up at really important points. I really want Lapidus to be dead--I want him to do something meaningful.

3. I appreciated the beauty of the Sun/Jin stuff (as someone trying to write two difficult books, I can only hope that when I kill off a character, it has the same sort of impct that Sun/Jin's deaths had on us!). I wish they didn't have to die, but if they had to...I'm glad they went together. They may not have been physically together the past few seasons--but at least they didn't die alone.

4. Ooh, good thought. And if Anthony's not responsible for Sawyer's parents' deaths...then who is?


@ April: See, one thing I try to hide is the fact that I am truly Spoiler Queen. I knew going into last night's episode who was going to die, so I was sort of prepared...but the deaths were better/more poignant than I expected. I can't say I was pleased, exactly, by their deaths, but I felt like they were well done.

It sure did sound like Sayid was implying that Jack would be replacing Jacob. But at the beginning of the ep, in Sidewaysville, we heard Jack tell Locke that he (Locke) is a candidate. And I'm guessing that's not just for surgery... We'll see. Should be a wild ride up 'til the very end, huh? :)


@ Andrew: I, too, was wondering about what will become of Ji Yeon now that her parents are both dead. I definitely think the kids are gonna factor into the story in some big, important way--but I'm not sure quite how yet...

I saw most of Hamels' fabulous pitching and was truly impressed. I missed seeing Lidge, and I didn't see Chooch's walk-off, but I'm proud of all of them! Last night was a great night to be a Phillies fan. :)

michael said...

Oh. My. Gawd.

I am confident enough in my manhood to say that I was welling up during the Sun/Jin scene. But then, at the last second when Jin's body was drifting away, all I could think was "I guess they aren't Adam and Eve, then." Talk about mental damage control.

I thought Jack and John were absolutely BRILLIANT in this episode. Locke scared the crap out of me multiple times, and Jack was intense. I'm really missing Ben, but there is no shortage of mind-blowing acting in this show.

I haven't read Doc Jensen these past few weeks, but based on the timeline of tonight's episode I think his Easter metaphor theory is starting to take on water. I think the overall idea is still valid, but it won't be as precise. I'm starting to get this idea that instead of (the real) Locke being resurrected, we're going to have Jack die and be reembodied by Jacob, and the Finale is going to be those two sitting on the beach, playing Backgammon. (my brain almost exploded when they used that clip in the teaser for next week, by the way)

How cool would that be?

Though I still have no idea what Desmond is supposed to do, and they're running out of time.


@ Michael: Y'know, for a while I'd really been hoping they were A&E--Jin's "I will never leave you again" absolutely would have held upin that case, too. But I've known for a week or two that that wouldn't be the case (damn me for not being able to stay away from the spoilers, haha!), so I was just hoping that the death scene did Sun and Jin justice. I think it did--it was pretty powerful stuff.

I agree--Jack and Locke were awesome! I'm suffering from Ben withdrawal, too, but Locke (and FLocke) were particularly fantastic last night, and I found Jack much more likable in both Island and Sideways timelines than I normally do. I like how Jack has morphed into being a man of faith. Now if only Sawyer hadn't been so faithless, right?

Yes--that was a great teaser for next week's episode! We are going to be getting a LOT of mysteries revealed in that episode, I think. Can't wait to see it! And yeah, it would be awesome if the backgammon scene makes its way into the finale with Jack and Locke as the players...

I'm still pretty clueless on the Desmond stuff too, but I definitely feel like he's important. He is the constant, and right now we have two timelines going. Desmond is going to do...something. I have no idea what, but it's gonna be big, and I can't wait to find out what it is. :)

Sarah said...

Im glad you said that about missing Ben. He is my favorite character and I too miss episodes where we don’t see him. I miss the bad ass Ben though, not the new reformed Ben.

I didn’t like the Bernard scene! I thought he looked like a total creeper. What in the world was that about?

What in the hell lost? You didn’t just reunite sun and jin in the most weakly executed way just to kill them off next episode? Color me NOT happy.
Now is where I trot back out my earlier theory that if you die on the island you merge back with your sideways timeline and continue living. Do you hear me LOST writers? Jot that down for reference purposes, dead never means dead on the soaps on ABC; it better not mean dead on LOST.

All that I said before about not being sure Man in Locke was all the way bad- yeah, I am clearly retarted. I went from feeling a little sorry for him to now wanting him to die in the most drawn out, painful, most unnecessarily brutal way possible. Man in Locke=Giant Jackhole.

I know you didn’t have much of a reason to, but really Sawyer? Couldn’t trust Jack? Karma came around and is now going to make you feel just as bad for being responsible for the deaths of Lapedius, Sayid, Sun, and Jin as you made Jack feel for Juliette’s death.

I love that Sayid got his redemption. Big love for that one.

BTW- the whole FLocke cant kill the candidates thing I love. The most obvious, yet I never saw it coming twist in a while.

Not really much of a theory, but I do think it is interesting that the airline lost the things that most defined Jack and Locke. Locke’s knives and Jack’s father- two major “things” in their lives.

I also think it is interesting that in neither timeline do Locke and his Dad have a happy ending.

I think that Flocke knew they hadn’t all died because he wasn’t “free”. I’m looking forward to next week because I feel like that episode has the greatest chance of revealing a lot of what we have been waiting to find out.
There is soo much I still want to know! Where is Aaron? What is his importance?Who are Adam and Eve? Etc, etc, etc! I wonder is there is a way to end this in a satisfying way?


@ Sarah: I miss Ben hardcore! I can't wait to see what he's been up to...

LOL! I didn't think Bernard was creepy. But then again, with some of the weirdos I regularly deal with where I live, Bernard seemed normal in comparison. ;)

I have a feeling dead doesn't mean dead on Lost, either. Gonna be interesting to see what they do with this...

Yep, it appears that MIB is definitely bad. Which doesn't mean he can't sometimes elicit our sympathy--but it does mean he doesn't really deserve it.

To be fair, if I'd have been Sawyer, I wouldn't have trusted Jack either. That being said, if Sawyer would have trusted Jack, that would have been some truly awesome character growth for him.

Adding to your excellent theory, an airplane lost something that was obviously very important to Sideways Locke: his father. Or at least his father as he knew him pre-plane crash. So Jack and Locke have both lost fathers due to plane-related incidents...

I wonder what happens when MIB is "free." Does he immediately get transported to somewhere that isn't the Island? Does he get a different body? What happens? Will we ever know?

There are still so many questions, but at least they recently announced they were extending the finale by 1/2 hour...awesome, huh? :)

Dave said...

Last night's episode was amazing. We got action, some crazy scenes, and then what happened at the end of the episode. Basically we had last nights episode messing with ALL of our emotions....I always liked Sun and Jin (although not my faves) so I was pretty moved by the death scene. I thought this was done very well, if not perfect. I agree - I think that their storyline was extremely underdeveloped this season. Maybe this is a consequence of having so many characters and loose ends to tie up? What do you think? I also agree that, had Sawyer not messed with that bomb and just listed to Jack, the outcome might have been very different. But I mean, you can't blame him for what he did...he hasn't acquired Jack's new sense of enlightenment...yet. I like the plot twist...MIB doesn't want to leave the Island with everyone.....he wants to KILL the candidates and then leave. Obviously he is incapable of doing it himself and has proven himself to be extremely clever....this adds a whole never level of 'what if' to everything he's stated all season. Personally I think I agree with Magnolia, Lapidus is not dead and is going to show up at some crucial moment for extra, added WTF. That kind of surprise is typical of Lost. I think that we haven't seen the last of him. Sayid found his redemption also I think....I was happy that he was able to tear himself away from the darkness that MIB left him in at the last second. Overall...Amazing episode.


@ Dave: I agree--it was an amazing episode! :) I was reading on DarkUFO's site some theory about how Lapidus is probably gonna turn out like Captain Nemo of the Nautilus sub (in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea)...a captain whom everyone thinks is dead but really isn't... :)

michael said...

Sarah reminded me - Bernard was a total creeper last night. Something about his tone of voice, and the way he mentioned Jack was "flirting" with Rose on the plane. I dunno.

One thing I was really hoping for in this episode was more Sideways Sun/Jin, especially since Sun obviously recognized Locke. I guess we're going to have to wait a couple more weeks for that one.


Yes--you're right--I wish we had seen more Sideways Sun/Jin!

I dunno, I didn't think Bernard was all that creepy...I got the sense that he was in on *whatever the hell this is all about*, though. Then again, I do have a rather unique perspctive on weirdos... When you get followed through the hall by the resident freakazoid guy who tells you he's going to buy roller skates to keep up with you (because you're walking too fast for him to keep up with and chat with--intentional, since you are kinda RUNNING AWAY from him and his weirdness, and he just DOESN'T GET IT), all other weirdos sorta pale in comparison. (True story!)